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P.O. Box 2246, Laguna Hills, CA 92654

LAGUNA WOODS VILLAGE POST 257

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Meetings are held Clubhouse #1
on the 4th Thursday of each month
- main lounge
24323 Calle Aragon
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Doors open 4:45pm for socializing.
Dinner served 5:30pm followed by business meeting. Entertainment 7pm

Commander Vanda Bresnan:  949-581-6287
email: vanda@cox.net
 

 

A Celebretion of Life will be held on January 29, 2017 from 3-5 PM at the Village Greens Golf Building, 24112 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods, CA for

Henry Clay Fordham II   1928-2017

 

Henry Clay Fordham Jr passed away on January 5th 2017.  He passed just a few weeks shy of his 89th birthday. He led a life full of adventure, travel, hard work, love and honesty. 

 

His parents were Henry Clay Fordham Sr and Rebecca Croom Fordham.  He had two siblings, his loving older sister Eleanor and sweet brother Bob. 

 

He had several loves in his lifetime, some that lasted years and some that lasted moments. One of his favorite stops while stationed on a submarine was in Brisbane, Australia in the year 1948. He was quoted saying, "We were there six days and I fell in love about half a dozen times, the food was good too".  

 

He married twice in his lifetime. He had two sons with his first wife Margaret, Hank Jr III and Douglas. He also had a son Robb, and a daughter Kristene with his second wife Kathlene. Hank got to watch his kids grow and all have families of their own. His beautiful grandchildren are Lindsay, Kelly, Jessica, Max, Sam, Logan and Jordan. Great grand-children are Mackenzie, Ethan and Chloe. 

 

Henry, also known as Hank, Son, Dad, Brother, Cousin, Grandfather, Great-grandfather, friend, was born in North Carolina on January 29th 1928. He grew up on a tobacco farm in North Carolina with his grandparents, mother and siblings after the loss of their father at a very early age. He joined the Navy in 1945 at age 17 and worked on ships after the war. He was always very active and enjoyed playing sports which included running, boxing, and basketball. He went to submarine school and had two years of adventures traveling through the deep blue, getting rolled by a giant wave that lead to taking on water, meeting people around the world, and tasting the food of the world. He went to North Carolina University and was in the ROTC while in college. In 1953 he was accepted into flight school after graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He was stationed in Germany, France, and many other countries while he proudly served his country. He flew over 160 missions in Vietnam in the F4 Phantom. After 20 years in the Air Force he retired as Major. He spent several years in flight clubs and flying for commercial airlines before retiring at age of 60. With flight still running through his veins he continued on as a flight simulator instructor for several more years. Heck even on the ground he would fly. He had a lead foot and loved the feeling of the force that pushes you back in your seat. Anyone who knew him enjoyed the stories and pictures of all the different planes and places he flew over the years. When he retired he had flown over 15,000 hours. 

 

He spent retirement in Laguna Woods, CA and was very active in many groups; He was on the board of the men's golf club, was in the California Club, Yacht Club, Aerospace Club, American Ballroom Dance Club and Photography Club. He was also part of the American Legion, Submarines Veterans organization and the Elks Club.

 

 

He never stopped learning new things and making new friends. He will me missed by so many.  

 

If there is a story you would like to share please email to f.kristene@gmail.com

 

The family is still making arrangements for services. In lieu of flowers and donations we ask that you take a moment to hug your child, parent, friends and loved ones.  

 
 

Post rocks after dinner!

December 15, 2016 dinner meeting concluded with dance music by Rick and Diane. Many members of the Post are also members of many other Laguna Woods Village organizations like the City Council, VMS, Kiwanis, Yacht Club, Golf Clubs and many others. It was a fun evening with a lot of friends made and friendships rekindled. Dinner meetings are open to everyone however reservations need to be made by calling Charlie Luce at 949-587-5718.
 
 
 

ANNUAL DONATION TO MARY FAY PENDLETON SCHOOL

Wednesday December 14, 2016 Post members Joe Rainey, Sam Higa and Mara Hodgkins visited Mary Fay Pendleton School to deliver $2,000 in gift cards to the teachers to buy additional supplies for the classrooms.
 
The school is for students from K-8 and includes four special needs classes. The teachers greatly appreciate the ability to purchase items that they not supplied. Many of the parents are currently depolyed for extended periods of time, some for a year or more. This is one of the most rewarding activities of the Post as we visit each classroom and get a brief view how they are being taught, they truly have a truly dedicated staff as evidenced by the students behavior and enthusiasm. 
Normally we split into two groups and have an opportunity to talk to the teachers and students and answer questions from the students. For more photos from previous visits click on the PHOTO GALLERY tab. If anyone would like to participate in the future please contact Jim Shaffer.
 
 
Doolittle Raiders-The Final Reunion
 
 
Tragic final chapter of a World War II romance
 
Click on the above link to read the article, Ron Kula is a member of American Legion Post 257
 
 

“Veteran Honor Ride”

Sunday, November 6, 2016, the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army and the American Legion Post 716 Family proudly presented the Second Annual Veterans Honor Ride (motorcycle rally), saluting our Nation’s Veterans. This year, the organizers changed the route of the ride to include passing the WW II Submarine Memorial. Ed Arnold contacted the Sea Cadets and 70 of them “Manned the Rail” outside the main gate and saluted the riders as they rode past. The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times graciously donated considerable space with lengthy articles and lots of photos. Many thanks for their publicity! The proceeds of the event benefiting the Military and Veterans Resource Center at the Joint Forces training Base, Los Alamitos. The center is the "go to" location for the delivery of benefits to our local military community. The center provides assistance to more than 1,500 Troops, Veterans, and their family members each month. Members of all branches of the service who enter the facility can get assistance including: emergency financial support, employment, education, finances, V A support, legal assistance, and healthcare. These services are available before, during, and after unit deployments. After 15 years of protracted fighting, our Veterans and their families are in need of our help - The Center is an essential provider of that support. 

Note: Post 257 has made donations supporting the Joint Forces Training Base.

 
 
VETERANS DAY CEREMONY AT THE MEMORIAL STONE
The Veterans Day ceremony was held at the Memorial Stone for the first time in many years. It was a beautiful warm morning for the guests that attended. Guest speakers included Village and city officials and our own Lou Tirado who talked about his flying with the Army Air Corp ias a belly gunner on a B17. Lou was shot down over Germany and spent time in a POW camp. Lou is still our Master at Arms and bugler. 
 
Click here to view more photos.
 
 
 
Veteran's Wheel Chair Drive 2016 was a great success.  Several of our American Legion members were able to obtain 9 brand new wheel chairs and one walker from the Knights of Columbus in Lake Forest on Saturday. Thanks to Joe Rainey, Mara Hodgkins, Vanda and Mike Bresman, Joann Kilian and Vince Howley. Two of the wheel chairs and 3 walkers have been given to Veterans since Saturday. If  you have a need call Vince Howley at 949-842-4069.
 
 
Letter from 2016 Boys State delegate from Laguna Hills High School

I genuinely want to thank you as well as The American Legion Post 257 for the wonderful opportunity to attend Boy’s State. Chandler and I both had several amazing experiences at our states capital, whether it was meeting our assemblyman or learning the ins and outs of our local, county and state government. While there I ran for the county level position of tax assessor. I took several speech classes in preparation for my campaign and had the opportunity to deliver my speech to over 250 people. This was a phenomenal experience for me due to the profound amount of skill that I obtained in order to make other speeches in the future. I was successfully elected as my county’s tax collector and assessor allowing me to work directly with our elected governor and be exposed to many new ideas and face even more learning opportunities. Aside from the food Chandler and I agree that Boy’s State had absolutely zero negative aspects and we are proud to vouch for the legitimacy of the program and what it can do for anyone who is interested in politics. The program had the perfect blend of camaraderie as well as actual work in order to ensure that every individual there had a good experience and was able to make lifelong friends. Many people that I met at Boy’s State will be my friends for years to come.

Again I appreciate the opportunity that you gave me by designating me as one of the representatives to attend Boys State. This has truly been a wonderful experience that I will remember for a lifetime.

Sincerely,

Grant Lowrie  

 
Robin Williams as the American Flag …
Williams was 31 when this video was made!
This clip made in ...1982, a different world …
 
https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q_L1vLv84vs
 

Combat boots on display at OSU bring attention to veteran suicides

 

Legion Family flower of remembrance
The poppy flower adorned the battlefields of Flanders Field in France during World War I, and was looked upon by those serving as a living symbol of their fallen comrades’ sacrifices. In 1920 after World War I, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war, and distribution of poppies became a Legion national program in 1924. To this day, thanks in large part to the American Legion Auxiliary, the poppy is nationally recognized and worn as a symbol of sacrifice made by the men and women who served and died for their country during a time of war.
 
 
IT'S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR 2017. MEMBERSHIP IS VALID FROM JULY1 TO 30 JUNE EACH YEAR.

Use the online renewal feature to:

  • Submit payment of your annual membership dues

  • If you are already paid up for the current year, you can set your account for automatic renewal using your credit/debit card

  • Eliminate paper renewal notices by setting your account to have your notices delivered via email

 

It’s fast and easy to get started… just CLICK HERE and follow the directions. 

 

 

 

What is Mesothelioma? (click for information)

 

Post 257 Color Guard at 2016 Aquadettes Show

 
VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT
 
It looks like we did some good after all! On Saturday, July 24th, 2010 the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means. He spoke the following in dedication to all Vietnam Veterans. Thought you might enjoy hearing what he had to say: 35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I'd laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth. I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I'd rather speak to you as an American. If you hadn't noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people. I am a proud U.S. citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it, and I am very proud of it. I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can't even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf. 35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the under- standing that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the U.S. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California. It was a miracle from God. If you haven't heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am. This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist / communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn't know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience. In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can't remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life. Fast forwarding, somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21 year old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and some- how, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here. One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don't know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Viet- nam. He smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back. You see, America is not just a place on the map, it isn't just a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must accept this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here. Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can't speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages - last I looked on the Internet, there wasn't a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It's not easy, but if it's too easy, it's not worth doing. Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders. At this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.
 
Quang Nguyen Creative Director/Founder Caddis Advertising, LLC "God Bless America " "One Flag, One Language, One Nation Under God"
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible. --
Thanks to Paul Riggs for the article.
 
Jan / Feb 2016 Newsletter - click here  Commander's Corner - click here

 

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Since our charter in 1967, our American Legion Post has been welcoming veterans from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today we continue to welcome all military personnel serving our country. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, County, and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace, and blessings for our country, friends, and families.
Help us to continue to support financially worthy community programs and projects.

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